As we are approaching almost one year since we started Coralsprings.com , a brief point in time allows me to ponder about our goal and mission. No I am not going to bore you with another ‘Mission Statement’ , but rather give you some insight as to my thought pattern and ‘raison d’etre’ of Coralsprings.com.
With more than 2000 people every week looking at our front page and using our service, few people in Coral Springs can guarantee the same sophisticated audience. This figure is only growing, as Yahoo and other search engines now carry our site within the top ten. As a matter of factg, we are probably the only DOT COM that hasn’t cut back on staff! ( Mike Levenson , the City Manager approached me at one of the commission meetings and said that he realizes why I am being such a pain in the behind to the city commissioners. He said that it’s because I know that some day the city commissioners will tell him to buy me out! I promptly replied that he is wrong and my price is $250,000.)
People contact us from around the world. I have received email from previous Coral Springs Residents. One family in Puerto Rico thanked me, as they were Coral Springs residents at one time, and as a result of Coralsprings.com they can still keep in touch. They like our web cam). another gentlemen wrote that he used to own the Pizza place on the corner of Sample and University in the Publix shopping center. He is now in Ireland and is wondering what happened to everyone. I even received email from Argentina, from a student wanting more information and pictures about Coral Springs. You see, Coralsprings.com is a natural.
At the beginning of our sort history, Coralsprings.com took on the Fire Department issue of Volunteers vs. Professionals. I thin we were instrumental in bringing about change to the city and attention to the decisions made by our commissioners. Sun Sentinel contacted me as a result of an article that I wrote. They were amazed that anyone would be upset at our website for telling it like it is. They did a nice story on Coralsprings.com and it did bring us forward a few feet. More importantly, it brought the whole issue of the Fire Department to a head, and ultimately forced the city commissioners to hire Chief Don Haupt. He has brought us out of the dark ages where bloodletting was the norm to cure diseases (and 12 minute response times for the fire department) to most of the calls under 8 minutes and getting better. That was the real drive behind my stories on the fire department. Making the city a safer place.
Stories that I write about are related to Coral Springs. I believe , just like the City Commissioners do, that this really is the best place to live, work and raise a family. I also believe that having Coralsprings.com as the loyal opposition gives them a reason to do better also. Each one of the commissioners will tell you that they never read any of the media, and especially my website, but I think they do. You can see some of the changes even at the commission meetings. At least they now have hot coffee ready for the media (Me, SunSenitnel, and the Forum). They also moved us from the South side of the room to the North Side so that we would not be on camera. That denied me a way of advertising my site, but saved me a lot of money on Coralsprings.com T-Shirts.
I have also began to realize that very few sites such as Coralsprings.com really exist. I know there are a lot of city named websites, but they are all either owned by the government themselves, or corporately owned because of a name (Sunrise.com is owned in Texas by a company of the similar name). The ones that claim to be a City Website really are no more than a glorified advertising center with little or any actual local content. They are plastic in appearance. Ok, I know I could do a better job at making the site look more professional, but there is something to be said about the home grown variety website. I have settled for an appealing less apprehensive website design, big on content less on flash. However, I do plan to change the front page several more times.
So where is Coralsprings.com headed? Maybe the city will end up buying me out for $300,000 (notice the $50,000 increase). However, they haven’t made that many good business decisions so I doubt if that is going t take place. I will probably keep plugging away at my knew found ability to right articles that make cents. (Someone was actually upset at my inability to spell properly…I responded that I majored in Engineering and not English.) I will continue to develop interesting articles that deal with this great city of ours. Not all of them will be great stories, and I might even get things wrong some of the time. In the end, this is and will be an informative and entertaining site for the citizens of Coral Springs, which includes the City Commissioners as well :>
One last point: I have always thought about the website as your website. I look forward to the time when the community grasps this fact and other people start sending in articles. Although I enjoy writing articles, I think the community would appreciate stories from other people. That is why I continue to ask for anyone that is interested to send me an article. It must be something related to Coral Springs life, or be good enough to be about something else. Don’t be shy about it…..